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Red Robin chain “Yammers” its way to meaningful internal dialogue

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York — When retailers discuss a social media strategy, they usually mean something involving reaching out to customers through popular social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. And while that is an important marketing technique to engage modern consumers, social media can also serve as a powerful internal communications and engagement platform. For example, quick service hamburger chain Red Robin uses the Yammer enterprise social network to directly link employees to senior management and each other in real time.

Using an internally deployed Yammer network, Red Robin is able to allow employees to directly ask questions and make suggestions in an open forum. Senior executives can easily deliver video messages to employees across the company in real time. New initiatives and programs can be quickly rolled out, with employees able to offer instant feedback. Managers can also easily have higher-level conversations with each other.

Enterprise social tools like Yammer have helped Red Robin transform a widespread employee base of nearly 30,000 across 44 states into a more tightly knit workforce focused entirely on team member and guest satisfaction,” said Chris Laping, senior VP of business transformation and chief information officer, Red Robin.

The word “yammer” traditionally means to mindlessly prattle about topics of little or no importance. But at least in the case of Red Robin, Yammer is having what kids in the 1980s would have called a “bad” impact on Red Robin’s internal communications.

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T.Platt says:
Jun-03-2013 04:10 pm

engagement
Yammer for internal dialogue among store staff and corporate; PoKos for omnichannel engagement among consumers, on the one hand, and all brand and retail staff, on the other. http://amex.co/13rIN5K

T.Platt says:
Jun-03-2013 04:10 pm

Yammer for internal dialogue among store staff and corporate; PoKos for omnichannel engagement among consumers, on the one hand, and all brand and retail staff, on the other. http://amex.co/13rIN5K

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REAL ESTATE

Macy’s unveils plans for second phase of Herald Square make-over

BY Marianne Wilson

New York —Macy’s on Friday announced the second phase of the four-year renovation of its Herald Square flagship in New York City.

The project will include the completion of the main, mezzanine and second floors of the store bridging both the Broadway and Seventh Ave. buildings by holiday 2013.

For the first time in the store’s history, the windows along Seventh Ave. will showcase views into the store and the Mezzanine Level will link the 34th and 35th St. sides of the Broadway Building, providing a seamless shopping experience for customers.

A redesigned cosmetics and fragrances department, along with a reimagined Men’s Store, and the re-opening of the Memorial Door entrance on 34th St. will create striking architectural and aesthetic changes to the interior and exterior of the iconic flagship.

In addition, the Visitor Center will be remodeled and enhanced with new technology to serve international travelers in their native languages. Touchscreen kiosks will provide guests the latest updates on special events, promotions and merchandise at Herald Square as well as information on attractions, entertainment and dining in New York City.

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News

Former Microsoft manager plans chain of pot stores

BY Marianne Wilson

New York —Jamen Shively, a former Microsoft corporate strategy manager, announced plans to invest $100 million over the next three years in a national chain of marijuana stores. The stores would sell both medical-use and adult-use (recreational) cannabis. Shively is now CEO of San Diego-based Diego Pellicer, which describes itself as the first legal premium marijuana retailer in the United States.

While the use, sale and possession of marijuana remains illegal in the United States under federal law, two states (Washington and Colorado) have legalized recreational marijuana use. Both states are among 18 states that allow it for medical use.

Speaking at a press conference in Seattle, Shively said within three years, he expects to open a dozen branded stores in the state of Washington, another dozen stores in Colorado and as many as hundreds in California. (Currently, only medical marijuana is legal in the Golden State, voters are widely expected to legalize recreational pot in 2016). He also said he was launching his business by acquiring medical pot dispensaries in three states.

Shively’s announcement created a media storm but it was also met with some skepticiam. Critics said he offered few details about the acquisitions, and even less about the investors he had lined up and how the investments would not violate the federal prohibition of marijuana.

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